By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
The story goes that way back in the day, the Jade Emperor in China pitted a bunch of animals against one another by dangling the prize of primo rank on his secret service team. The quicker any got through the heavenly gate, the better their rank.
Well the rat was an early riser and was killing the race until he encountered a really brutal river. The only way for him to cross it was to rely on the kindness of the diligent ox. The ox let the rat chill on his ear as the ox crossed the river steadily.
And then once they hit the other side of the river, the rat jumped over the ox’s head, took first place like a total betrayer, and secured his supremacy on the Chinese zodiac for all time.
Besides being cunning and having an appetite for stabbing friends in the back to get ahead, the rat sign also symbolizes vitality, wealth, surplus, and fertility— because rats reproduce like whoa.
Here are some celebs that may or may not be rat-like! You decide!
Hailee Steinfeld (1996)
Known for: “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect 2,” is also a pop singer!
Hailee Steinfeld has Filipina ancestry! Her grandpa is half-Filipino.
Steinfeld is a fire rat (each zodiac is also aligned with an element, which yields to specific personality types). Fire rats are robust, love the great outdoors, and know how to dress themselves. Um, I read that Steinfeld was born in Los Angeles (it’s hot there!) and while her brother was on the football team, she was a cheerleader. So she is athletic. She also professes to “love being outdoors.”
Other 1996 rats: Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), Zendaya (actor, known for being Disney Channel star)
LeBron James (1984)
Known for: Being a magnificent champion! Also kinda known for being a traitor!
LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, so I don’t think I have to say much to explain him to you. He currently plays for the Lakers, but once upon a time he was a mega rising star for the Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio, winning his first NBA MVP award in 2009 and leading Cleveland to its first NBA Finals in 2007.
Once he was a free agent in 2010, he shocked fans to their core by announcing—via televised special—that he was joining the Miami Heat because he wanted to play with some winners. Just kidding, he didn’t actually explicitly say that, just strongly inferred it. Cleveland fans definitely heard him loud and clear and started ripping up his tear-soaked jersey with their bare hands, teeth, and fire. You think I’m joking, but I read news stories about this. The saga of James continues after that, but that is really all you need to know to decide whether or not he’s especially rat-like.
Other 1984 rats: Katy Perry (pop singer), Khloe Kardashian (reality TV star, mogul), Prince Harry (of Wales)
Dwayne Johnson (1972)
Known for: Being perfect, also an actor and former pro wrestler.
Dwayne Johnson is gracing his visage on nearly every action movie series out there—except for the ones set in space, which needs to be rectified ASAP—which makes him a bonafide blockbuster star, one whose popularity is so uncontested that you kind of forget he’s not white. But he is one of us! He is half Samoan (mother’s side) and half Black (father). He is extremely athletic, having played college football as well as a short stint in the Canadian Football League before he was a professional wrestler. Thereafter, he expanded his career into film. If movies were babies, you might say that the Rock is fertile. Very fertile, indeed.
Other 1972 rats: Eminem (rapper, “8 Mile”), Shaquille O’Neal (former pro basketball player, “Space Jam,” “Kazaam”), Cameron Diaz (actor, “Charlie’s Angels”), Sofia Vergara (actor, “Modern Family”), Idris Elba (actor, “The Wire,” also DJ)
Jennifer Grey (1960)
Known for: “Dirty Dancing,” getting a nose job.
Jennifer Grey was huge in the 1980s! She was in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Red Dawn,” and the biggest hit of the time, “Dirty Dancing.” Then in the early 1990s, she underwent rhinoplasty, which changed her distinctive facial characteristic—her nose—and her career took a massive dive. The parts offered to her shrunk because fans could not recognize her anymore.
That’s a shame because metal rats like Grey are known for being very determined in their careers. They always aim to achieve success and happiness through their profession.
Other 1960 rats: RuPaul (drag performer, TV host), Bono (U2), Kathy Griffin (comedian), Hugh Grant (“Notting Hill,” “About a Boy”), Julianne Moore (Oscar-winning actor), Antonio Banderas (“The Mask of Zorro”)
Prince Charles (1948)
Known for: Being a prince his entire life.
I know there’s loads of stuff going on with the royal family right now, but let’s go way, way back to the 1970s, when Prince Charles held the biggest torch for Camilla Parker Bowles. However, since she wasn’t considered wifey material, they couldn’t marry. Prince Charles went on to date Princess Diana’s older sister, and when that didn’t work out, he dated Princess Diana, married her, and then reportedly wept on their wedding day. Their marriage seemed pretty miserable, with the both of them carrying on affairs —Charles with Parker Bowles—until eventually, they couldn’t take it anymore and divorced. Now Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, are husband and wife!
Earth rats are known for being the most level-headed and prudent of all rats, leaving nothing to chance or risk.
What do you think? Is Prince Charles a good earth rat?
Other 1948 rats: Samuel L. Jackson (“Avengers” series, “Pulp Fiction”), Olivia Newton-John (“Grease”), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Kathy Bates (“Misery”), Billy Crystal (“When Harry Met Sally”)
Stacy can be reached at email@example.com.